A break in the soaking and a compendum of critters


This "free-range" rooster gave me a wary look. I stayed in the truck and grabbed him with a long lens. Back in the day, we would have called him a "yardbird," in lieu of the yuppified "free range chicken" designation.

This “free-range” rooster gave me a wary look reserved for interlopers who threaten his hens. I stayed in the truck and grabbed him with a long lens. Back in the day, we would have called him a “yard-bird,” in lieu of the yuppified “free range chicken” designation.

rain soaked camellia

Click the soaked camellia for  more pix and comments.

The drought conditions we groused about several months ago are now reversed here in LA (lower Arkansas). My friend Michael Stubblefield, a transmogrified Arky residing in Seattle would feel right at home. That is, once he made the adjustment to the fact that here one sees a plethora of service stations peddling fried chicken versus the plethora of Starbucks one observes in Seattle.

All that said, this last Saturday was generally a Seattle soaker. Even so, I found some lurking visual opportunities here on the Dempsey premises between cloud bursts. You can see these and peruse the attendant commentary on the Photo of The Week page at Corndancer dot-com.

A break in the soaker came in the afternoon, so bitten with a bad case of cabin fever, I ventured out to see what I could see. Turns out, a few critters had the same idea. One round trip down a short stretch of country road at the outskirts of my fair city yielded unexpected and welcome results manifested as chickens, cows, and horses.

Free range rooster

This rooster was in the same location as the rooster above. He gave me the same suspicious look. I stayed in the truck.

Just across the road from the chickens, cattle were chowing down on a convenient hay smorgasbord in the middle of their pasture. The diners included a Texas longhorn, but unfortunately he was on the far side of the feeding station so we only got a glimpse of his impressive horns.

Cows at hay feeding station.

Across the road from the chickens, cattle munch out on hay. The calf probably probably still visits his mother’s milk supply. Notice the horn on the Texas longhorn on the far side of the feeding station.

Not long after I left the cattle, I was beginning to think I was going to run out of critters when I noticed a some horses grazing in a pasture a couple of hundred yards off the road. I kept going and noticed that the batteries in one camera were running low so I stopped to make the change. While I was fiddle-faddling with the batteries, unbeknown to me, the horses began to demonstrate a tendency shared by most pampered horses. They came to a stopped pickup. As a result, I would up with a close shot of a friendly pony.

I think this horse would have stuck his or her head in the truck had not the gate been closed between us. The horse came a long way to make the visit while I was changing batteries in one of my cameras.

I think this horse would have stuck his or her head in the truck had not the gate been closed between us. The horse came a long way to make the visit while I was changing batteries in one of my cameras.

Some days, you just get lucky. The idea is to let those days outnumber the others. I’m still working on that. I suspect you are doing the same.

Thanks,
Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Advertisements

The gandeur is gone


Click on the old house to see our original post.

Click on the old house to see our original post.

When I first saw this huge domicile at  Tucker, Arkansas in the early sixties, it was still “nice.” I say “nice” as opposed “top of the food chain” which it once was. Now it is a crumbling, shell of its former self, far beyond redemption.

I shot this picture in November of 2009. I saw the house a month or so ago and the exponential rate of deterioration had not abated. It is crashing headlong to becoming a pile of scrap lumber and miscellaneous other expended building materials.

Pecan tree tunnel

Click the pic to see the pecan tree tunnel

Read more about this trip on our original post which included some restored rail cars, an old store, a neat growth of cypress with a highway splitting it in half, and my beloved pick-up attached by a chain to a big tractor. I was being rescued from a mishap due to my dumb navigation by people I had never seen before in my life. As we say in the south, “bless their hearts.” I also recommend you going to the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-come to see a fine pecan tree tunnel.

The old house is a victim of the historical merry-go-round which started spinning faster and faster. In the end the old structure could no longer hold on with what it had to offer and it was jettisoned from the main stream as a useless relic. Lest we bemoan this fate, remember the same ignominy was summarily dealt to typewriters, record players, 8-tracks, cassette decks, discotheques and gas less than a dollar a gallon. Despite these passings, we seem to have survived.

Winter is circling the drain


Click on the red barn for our original "Baring it all" post.

Click on the red barn for our original “Baring it all in the winter” post.

Jonquils are blooming, the yellow peril from millions of horny oak trees is beginning to present itself for inhalation, and to top that, the TV weather-woman just reminded me that when we wake up Wednesday morning, we will be in the first day of Spring 2013.

All that said, it I am going to get on the stump for seeing Mother Nature’s wonders in winter months, I have to hustle. To illustrate my point I am sending you back to January 2011 when I addressed this issue with a post appropriately entitled: Baring it all in the winter. The weather was a mite airish and the landscape was unadorned by green.

Old barn in winter

Click the little barn to see the big barn

As is usual, with these photo-articles, you get two versions, one here and one on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com, where you will see another winter barn.  This is a result of a plot between me and Ebenezer Bowles, grand-master, big kahuna, and keeper of the candles at Corndancer dot-com.

We want to make sure you get plenty of exercise with your mouse and simultaneously enrich your web-surfing experience. So we figured since the mayor of New York can act in your benefit by telling you how big your sody-water can be, we can benefit you with this additional mind exercise and eye-hand coordination work outs. That’s what friends are for. ??

Thanks,
Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Cheap Thrills


Rainbow in a storn on Wilbur West Road near Pine Bluff Arkansas.

Rainbow on Wilbur West Road, southeast of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. A friend called me and told me where it was. Fortunately I was mobile when I got the call. I rolled up to the location squeezed. off one burst of seven or so exposures, and poof — the rainbow  was history. Got lucky on this one — for a little time and gasoline. Cheap tickets for the good seats.

Flying in the face of popular, even legendary opinion, the best things in life (in my humble opinion), are not necessarily free. Realists will agree that anything of value has a price tag. Fortunately f0r many experiences, the quality far outweighs the pittance put forth to put ones self  in the belly of opportunity.

Observing Mother Nature at work with her dramatic skies, sforzando storms, and calamitous clouds comes at or near the top of that cheap thrill list for me.

Thunderstorm

Click on the storm to see more weather pix.

Speaking of cheap thrills, there are even more to see on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com.

Go there to get a glimpse of a dramatic storm shot, golden crops in the field and a morning sun blasting its rays through dramatic clouds. We’ll wait here while you take the trip.

As I was leaving  the all-toof-brief encounter with the rainbow, the late  afternoon sun peeked around the clouds as the storm hit my driver’s side window with a bucket of high velocity rain drops. Opening the window guaranteed a good Nikon soaking which puts the guts of the camera at great risk. Fortunately, with a freshly washed window, I was able to get the shot below, a free-will gift and offering from my Good Friend Above.

Rainwater on truck window

This is the way to see a storm —  safely surrounded by a full-sized pickup truck whose radio is spitting ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man,” into the cab.

The last of August, 2013, vestiges of Hurricane Isaac were rumbling through our neighborhood. Fortunately Isaac was a mere shadow of his former self when he made his visit. I did a bid of radar tracking and figured the cloud formations over Saracen Lake here in Pine Bluff would be worth a look-see. I was right. Isaac was leaving town and headed north. He made an ordinary fishing pier look special, another cheap thrill.

Fishing pier in storm on Lake Saracen in Pine Bluff Arkansas

Hurricane Isaac’s tailings make a nice setting for the fishing pier on Saracen Lake in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Other than a bit of wind and a few boomers, the hurricane’s visit was a non-event. I suppose by the time the Old Boy dropped in on us, he was a mere tropical depression.

birds on street light arm

These birds have an apparent pecking order and always look just about the same, day in and day out.

Though lacking in drama, the pecking order of these birds who consistently occupy the arm of this street light at South Hazel Street and I-530 here in Pine Bluff do provide some comic relief when one harkens back to the “Talk-a-little, peck-a-little” song from the 1962 hit movie, The Music Man.


Aerial photography is not a cheap thrill, but grabbing a few personal shots on the way home after the money shots are “in the can” is. This is a view of a mostly industrial and recreational area in my home town, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The water you see is the former channel of the Arkansas River which was diverted through an artificial channel north of this scene. The result is a slack water harbor and a fine recreational area.

Lake Langofer Pine Bluff

To the far left is the Pine Bluff – Jefferson County Regional Park. To far right is the Pine Bluff Harbor Industrial District. Fishing is great in these waters. Angler Rick Clunn won the 1984 Bass Masters Classic with a fish caught in the waters to the far middle left of this picture.

With Mother Nature, most of the time, the good seats are also the cheap seats. Even if you don’t venture out, there is plenty to see. All is costs is a look. Take a gander the next chance you get.

Thanks,
Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Hooker Road redux


Old house on Hooker Road

Click on the old home for our original March. ’09 post. See more angles and details.

By March 2009, I had driven past this old home on Hooker Road off US Highway 425, south of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, but it was not until then I stopped for more than a quick snapshot.

After the first day, shooting in the afternoon, I returned the next morning for a 180 on the light from the previous day. Click to see our original Hooker Home post.

Once on the premises, my best guess was,  that in a few years (it has now been a few years), the old structure would have fallen to a pile of kindling. To our good fortune, I could not have been more incorrect in my conjecture. The old structure, as of a few weeks ago,  is still standing, perhaps a little worse for wear given the climatic beating it takes, but still upright.

Old house on hooker road

Click on the house for another picture and more information.

The old home follows the typical rural southern home. It started smaller than it was before final abandonment. The inhabitants added rooms, nooks, and crannies to suit their life style.

Evidence of livestock enclosures and out buildings hint that there was prosperity at some time. You can lay your eyes on another picture of the house and soak up more information and observations on the March 22, 2009 edition of the Photo of  Week page at Corndancer dot-com.

Thanks,
Joe Dempsey

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html